Creative Lawyering Surmounts a Unique Challenge in Collision Trial
Where we started: Our client, a multinational automobile manufacturer, was sued by the family of a teenage girl who died in an accident involving a vehicle made by the manufacturer. Beyond the facts of the case – a rear-end collision and post-collision fire – the case was complicated by the fact that the girl was the daughter of the district judge in whose court the case would be tried. Not wanting to taint their relationships with the judge, all local counsel in the jurisdiction declined to work with us in the case.
Our strategy – plus more: In order to try the case, we secured local counsel from a different jurisdiction in the same state and assembled a team of experts to develop a coherent defense of the design of the vehicle’s fuel system. The state supreme court appointed a retired judge to preside over the jury trial. We tried the case for two weeks against very experienced plaintiffs’ counsel in the local judges’ courtroom.
Upshot: After deliberating for several hours, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the manufacturer.